We’re all familiar with the amazing photogenic Far-West landscapes that have given the Luberon its reputation. But since the health crisis, the rise in the number of people visiting during the summer is threatening to erode its spectacular hilly areas, so the organisation that manages the site has just set up an online booking system for the summer season.
The ochres of Luberon
After the ochres of Luberon contributed to the industrial wealth of Provence in the 19th and 20th centuries, today they can be explored as a fascinating visual and also historical heritage. The most popular remains Roussillon village, known for its brightly-coloured façades and the ochre trail you get to directly from the village (paid access),
Ôkhra, the enthralling ochre ecomuseum, with its wide selection of activities, workshops and high quality exhibitions, the Mines de Bruoux in Gargas, vast cathedrals of ochre (also by booking only), and finally, the Provençal Colorado, at Rustrel.
The Provençal Colorado
It has been possible to visit this former ochre quarry site for a long time, so long as you parked in the authorised car park (pay and display).
Visitors had the choice of two itineraries according to time available and how fit they are, and adults and children could be seen climbing over the ochre dunes scattered around the site.
New visit conditions
Did you know ?
Motorbikes and bicycles can access the site without booking from 8am to 7pm within the limits of the maximum number of visitors being respected.
Since the health crisis and the need for natural spaces it has heightened, the Provencal Colorado has recorded a clear increase in summer visitor numbers. This dangerously increases its erosion and makes the visit less comfortable. The first step was to forbid access to the dunes, in order to protect them, then the decision was taken this summer to implement a booking system, like that used for the Marseille Calanques.
In July and August, cars, minibuses and camper vans can can only access to the site from 8am to 1pm having previously booked a parking space online. The calendar is opened the evening before at 6pm for the following day, depending on the Prefecture’s fire risk bulletin. Access will still be possible from 1pm to 7pm and all day long, without reservation, for pedestrians, bicycles and motorbikes.
This measure will enable visitor footfall to be controlled, by spreading it out throughout the day, improve road safety in the surroundings, often disrupted by chaotic parking along the access routes, and improve both the visitor experience and safety found in forest uplands subject to fire risks, with sudden evacuation being needed.
Get information before visiting
In order to best guide visitors, a procedure has been implemented to best inform them before they come.
The website www.coloradoprovençal.fr 7and a voice server give them real time information about how many people are visiting the Provencal Colorado.
As a final measure, road signs indicate if the site is temporarily closed due to saturation or fire risks.
A team of protection agents will be on site throughout the summer to inform visitors, but also to ensure that the indications for preserving the site are respected.
A mobile app about the historical and geological past
Booking online gives access to an app that is commented and full of illustrations to understand the site’s history, its geology and environmental richness throughout the circuit.
Beware : coaches must book their visit by contacting the Colorado Provencal on 00 33(0)4 90 75 04 87 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact for press:
Martine DiCicco, Apt Tourist Office – email@example.com
Credit ©M. Planque, A. Hocquel, T. Verneuil, G. Kessler, Lezbroz, M. Coquard, Oiseau Rose